I’ve always had this album in my collection because it’s one of those “classic” Blue Note albums, but I never gotten around to listening to it, except maybe once or twice when I had to study the tune “Contemplation.” One track on this record stands out to me — “Search For Peace” — and I’ve been listening to it non-stop. Besides the flawless playing of four jazz legends, I love the song as a composition. I rarely encounter pieces that sound more structurally complex than their actual form, in this case a standard AABA. I like the modal-esque bridge and the three ii/V’s modulating down half a step in the last four bars of the A section.
The track echoes the spiritual ethos that defined much of Coltrane’s music. That’s no surprise, given that Tyner played with Coltrane and recorded with him on many landmark recordings (The Love Supreme, for instance). However, the recording has much more space and subtlety than Coltrane’s music. Compare “Search for Peace” with Coltrane’s “Central Park West” and you will know what I mean.
But music jargon aside, it’s a great recording — one of those pieces that both jazz connoisseurs and casual listeners can appreciate. I’d even venture to say that it’s a timeless recording, like any of the tracks on Kind of Blue, that offers something different upon each new listen.
Do yourself a favor and listen to the song.